Maria is the Director of RIT’s Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). The CSTEP program is a New York State grant funded initiative designed to foster academic excellence for under-represented or economically disadvantaged full-time college students majoring in the STEM fields or licensed professions. Prior to CSTEP, Maria was the Assistant Director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) at RIT for 11 years. In that role she advised a caseload of students, oversaw the tutoring program, and coordinated the summer program. In addition to serving her students, Maria has served as the advisor for a number of student clubs and organizations, is a graduate of the United Way’s Latino Leadership Development Program and is past recipient of the Alicia Torres Award.
Maria’s passion for helping others stems from her own personal experience. Born and raised in Puerto Rico where her family struggled to make ends meet, she truly values hard work and sacrifice. Having come from a low-income family and being a first generation college student, she worked her way through college, eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from SUNY Brockport and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Buffalo State.
- Education: AA in Communication from Monroe Community College and BA in Journalism from SUNY Brockport.
- Works as a freelance journalist providing many area publications with theater reviews and other content.
- Author of numerous blogs, short stories and children’s books.
- Lives in Rochester with her husband and three children.
CSTEP Board of Directors
- Roger Dube - College of Science
- Gretchen Wainwright - College of Applied Science & Technology
- Babak Elahi- College of Liberal Arts
- Douglas Merrill - College of Health Sciences and Technology
- Sylvia Perez-Hardy - School of Individualized Study
- TBD - Kate Gleason College of Engineering
- TBD - Saunders College of Business
- Jeffery Powers - Community Manager
- Ke'Shara Webb - Alumni